Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Showers

I CANNOT believe today is the last day of March! I came across my March goals today, hastily scribbled on a legal pad at work, and realized I didn't do too well. Well about 50/50...

1. Complete 21-day kickstart - SUCCESS!

2. Save money for NYC trip in April - SUCCESS! I am extra proud of myself for this one!

3. Attend two yoga classes - FAIL. Not even one...

4. Don't get angry - Um... success and fail? While I find that I let things go much easier these days, there are certain buttons of mine that, when pressed, lead to some pretty ugly behavior. Working on it!

Personally, I'm THRILLED that it's April! I have so much going on this month, I know it'll fly by. Here's a sneak peek at my April happenings...

- Trip to Dallas for Easter festivities

- Trip to Houston for work (Bonus: Get to see my law school BFF (Remember Pony?)!!!)

- Trip to NYC!!! I am SO excited for this trip, I can hardly sit still. I'll be there for 4 nights/5 days, and BONUS, Ma Soeur will be there for part of the time, too! I adore my NYC friends and can't wait to explore the city (and check out lots of vegan eateries!). 22 days and counting!

So basically, I'm taking lots of trips. :) Might as well make some April goals, oui?

1. Spend more time in the kitchen! I've noticed that I've been a little lazy since the Kickstart ended, and I find myself not prepared when it's dinner-time. More prep and more time in the kitchen will remedy that situation. For example, last night I made Chana Masala for tonight's din!

2. One "long" walk with Lola per week. Taking more walks w/ Lola was one of my Anti-New Year's Resolutions. So far, it's been a big fat fail, but last weekend, I purposely took her out on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and had a great time. I get exercise. She gets exercise. It's a win-win situation!

3. Stop hitting snooze. I'm planning an entire blog post about this one. I am a notorious snoozer, and I think it's really screwing up my chances of ever becoming an early morning riser.

4. Declutter. No need to explain that... you saw my paper stash.

So tell moi, what're your April goals? Any fun Spring trips planned? I wanna know!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mexican Crack

Look at it. In all its bottled glory. Yes, my friends, that is the infamous Mexican Coke that has, in many ways, taken over my life. (Okay, not really.) You see, Mexican Coke is made with sugar. That's right, no high fructose corn syrup here, just sugar. Now sugar is arguably just as bad as high fructure corn syrup, but OH, it sure does make this coke taste 10x better than this crappy U.S. coca cola we've got in the States.

In the past, I've reserved Mexican Coke for tres special occasions and enjoyed one once or twice every couple weeks. I had to buy them individually at Central Market, a local Whole Foods-esque grocery store, and they cost almost $2 a pop (the bottles are also bigger, which = way too much cola for this chick). But this past weekend, one of the partners at the firm (my office BFF) who knows of my intense love for Mexican Coke picked up a case for me at Costco. (Bless his soul.) 24 bottles. $16.99. Heaven.

Now, I intend to ONLY have one per week, so in theory, this case will last me 24 weeks. Let's see how that goes...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vlog: Excuses Excuses!

Bonjour, mes amies!! Guess what? I followed through on my promise - voila a vlog! It explains... well, you'll see. ;) Psst you also get to see my darlings Puffin & Lola in action.

Not to sound crazy vain, but I seriously don't know WHAT was going on with my hair during this video. I promise it looked better... here's a pic I snapped as I was waiting for my friend. See? Normal hair. The temp dropped about 30 degrees last night, and today was FREEZING! I didn't mind though b/c I had one more opportunity to don my fave faux leopard. :)

Btw we ended up seeing Alice in Wonderland instead of Shutter Island (sold out). It was really good! Very... Tim Burton. Helene Bonham Carter was INCREDIBLE. I could've done without the dancing bit though...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I know I've totally been slacking on zee blog... my apologies! I've been trying to blog daily on vegan tomato for the 21-day kickstart, so Hang On Little Tomato has been un peu neglected. But I promise an update coming soon. Actually, I'm out of town for work Friday and Saturday, but I'll be back Saturday night, and I plan to film a vlog JUST for you! I'm gonna get dolled up for a fun date with a friend that night so I figured it'd be a good time to bust out the flip. ;) Merci for your patience!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Capitalism & Le Weekend

{DIY Fabric Poms, originally spotted on Luphia loves}

Ever since I rejoined Netflix, I've been on a movie watching kick. Wednesday night I watched New York, I Love You and adored it, as I knew I would, and last night I watched Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story. Michael Moore... well you either love him or you hate him, but I will say this - I learned more about the financial crisis and bank bailout from this flick than I ever did from watching CNN.

Anyway, back to what's really important here - TGIF!!! My weekend is full of visiting with old friends (one came all the way from Zurich!), dining out, squeezing in a yoga class, and hopefully finally making it to the Boggy Creek Farms Market on Saturday morning. What're you up to?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ce Soir

Here's a sneak peek at my evening...


roasted asparagus

New York, I Love You

Monday, March 8, 2010

Health: Taking It for Granted

I've always taken my physical health for granted. Even though I've definitely gotten sick on more than one occasion, I've never struggled with any chronic health problems, and I don't even have food allergies (that i know of). Ditto my parents, for the most part. My dad has struggled with gout in the past, but they're both pretty health-conscious themselves so I've never had to worry. My Mom's parents both died from complications with diabetes, so I have to be careful there, but really, that's about it.

Part of the reason I decided to eat vegan was because of all of the incredible health benefits associated with it. Per recommendation by many veggie blogs around the net, I listened to The China Study on my drive to Dallas this past weekend and learned how animal protein increases the risks of heart disease and cancer (American's top 2 killers), and how eating a plant-based diet can actually reverse the effects of heart disease. All good information, but not really applicable to me. I've never had to deal with heart disease or cancer in my family. I've never even been to a funeral.

And then, late on Saturday night, my Mom received a call from her oldest sister, my Aunt Jennifer, who lives in Canada. My Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Mel are like second parents to me, and they spent about a month in Dallas with my family over the Holidays. The last time I went to Dallas, actually, was to see them before they returned to Canada. They are incredible, incredible people, and despite the distance between us, I know they are always thinking of me and loving me just as much as my parents do.

So when I learned that Saturday night that my Uncle had been diagnosed with colon cancer and had emergency surgery, I was beyond devastated. I'm still devastated. I don't know how to process or deal with this information. I don't know how to express the fear, I don't know how to talk about it, and I don't know how to be optimistic. I have to be strong for my Mom, so she can be strong for my Aunt, but I don't know how. For my Mom, this is an even more difficult time. She is SO close to my Uncle Mel, and this is her dearest sister we're talking about. And what about my Aunt? My heart breaks for my Aunt, and the pain she must be going through.

I know I've already asked, but please please continue to keep my Uncle Mel and my Aunt Jennifer in your prayers/thoughts. And thank you for your kind words and support. This is uncharted territory for me, and I am forever grateful for your generous love.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring Trend: Pastels

{Burberry Prorsum Spring 2010 Ready to Wear from}

Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of pastels. And guess what? They are all over the place for Spring. LE SIGH. One pastel I don't mind, however, is pastel pink (surprise surprise), and even then, I don't like it to be toooo baby pink-y. This pink, however, is perfection. Actually, the whole shoe is perfection in my eyes: bold graphic, sugary sweet pink, killer platform and baubles galore. Oh and completely over-the-top. I spotted these gems on one of my fave blogs, la couturier, and just about died. I want them. I NEED them. If only they didn't cost $2,140...

I did embrace this pastel mania un peu today. A couple of pastel hued tops may have found their way into my hands after lunch... But in my defense, one of them is work-appropriate. The other? Decidedly not.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Carolyn's Oats

Admittedly, I am not so good at breakfast. Most of the time I don't wake up with enough time to do much more than start a pot of coffee, sip half of it, and then grab a piece of toast w/ pb or a frozen waffle. And embarassingly enough, before I changed my diet, I was often picking up breakfast tacos from Taco Shack or McDonald's mcgriddles (plain with no egg or sausage - like pancakes!) and hashbrowns (still love these, but I doubt I'll be eating anything from McD's anytime soon) on a far-too-regular basis.

So although I've been really good about cooking yummy dinners and even lunches over the past couple weeks, my breakfasts have still been lacking. Also, I find it hard to even get 2 slices of toast down in the morning, even when I have the time. I don't know why b/c I'm definitely hungry in the morning, but there's just something about eating that early that... freaks me out. I don't know. Does anyone else have this problem?

In an effort to raise the standards of my breakfasts, I hit up the bulk bins at Whole Foods yesterday and picked up some steel cut oats (had no idea what these looked like - how sad is that?), organic raisins, and raw walnuts. Last night, after dinner and The Biggest Loser (how lame is Michael btw??), I very slowly cooked a pot of these yummy oats, cooled them, and then refrigerated them. They reheat surprisingly well in the microwave (or gently over the stove), and are about 100x better than any instant or even quick cooking oats I've ever had. And they'll last me about 4 mornings. Genius.

Carolyn's Oats

- 2 cups of water
- 2 cups of soy milk (or any other milk you prefer)
- 1 cup of steel cut oats
- dash of salt
- maple syrup

- nuts, fruit, dried fruit, brown sugar, etc.

Combine the water, milk and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the oats. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often to ensure that the oats don't stick to the bottom. After 15 minutes, add maple syrup and then cook on low for about 10-15 more minutes, stirring often, until desired creaminess and consistency is reached. Let cool and refrigerate. In the morning, scoop out desired portion into a microwave-safe bowl, heat, and then add whatever other toppings your heart desires. Thank Carolyn for this genius idea (that she stole from other people who probably had the idea first).

March Goals

I haven't set monthly goals since 2009 - what's up with that?! I'm jumping back on the bandwagon as of right now!

1. Complete 21-day Vegan Kickstart (obvi)

2. Save money for NYC trip in April (also hoping that ticket prices go down so I can buy them...)

3. Attend at least two yoga classes (setting the bar low on this one)

4. Be joyful - I am sick and tired of the crap I am getting from people about this whole vegan thang. It's annoying and self-centered and more often than not, I want to retort with something equally biting and sarcastic. BUT, that's not the right way to handle it. Truthfully my heart is full of joy, and I need to express that despite the naysayers. So here's to being joyful!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Food Rant: Risotto Sans Cream

{photo credit: Simply Recipes}

Tonight I went to Paggi House, an Austin favorite, with my friend J for Austin Restaurant Week. I chose Paggi House because its menu seemed the most veganizable, namely because one of the entrees is wild mushroom risotto. I called ahead several days to make sure it wouldn't be a problem to prepare my risotto sans dairy, aka sans chees, and the woman on the phone assured me they could. (The reason I called ahead is because I know certain snooty chefs at certain Austin restaurants who REFUSE to change their dishes, so I just wanted to make sure Paggi House would be accommodating.)

I was very much looking forward to a delicious bowl of risotto - so comforting on this cold and rainy night, right? Wrong. After letting our server know of my requests, J and I were soon after visited by the manager who informed me that the kitchen couldn't make the risotto without cream because if they did, it would be "dry and crunchy." Okay... Even though I was 99% sure that risotto is not traditionally made with cream, I let it go. He said they'd prepare something else for me. Ok, fine, whatever. I didn't want to make a big deal, and I didn't want to ruin our evening.

When dinner finally came, I was served... vegetables. Well, it was a "vegetable medley" with a side of sliced beets. Did they taste good? Yes. But it annoyed me that: (1) I wasn't getting my risotto, and (2) The only dish they could come up with was sauteed vegetables. Lame.

Despite that, I had a lovely evening and great conversation with my friend. Also? Paggi House has really, REALLY good sourdough bread, and needless to say, I ate a lot of it. But I got increasingly pissed the more I thought about the risotto and the condescending manner in which the manager informed me that my request was simply not possible.

When I got home, I immediately googled "risotto" to discover, much to my delight, that I was right. Risotto is NOT traditionally made with milk or cream. The creaminess is a result of the type of rice (arborio) and the method in which it is cooked (very slowly stirred with broth). Oh how I wanted to call Paggi House immediately! Oh how I WISH I had said something at the time. Don't insult my foodie intelligence and tell me risotto can't be made without cream! Do I believe that you add cream to it? Yes. But that's not the point. The POINT is that risotto is not creamy because of cream, you morons! Ugh. I still can't believe I paid $35 for a plate of sauteed vegetables.

I'm annoyed and disappointed, but most of all, I'm insulted. This isn't about being vegan. Paggi House did accomodate me and for that I will give them credit. But they also lied to me. About food! And that is not okay.

P.S. - The reason this rant isn't on vegan tomato is because again, this isn't about being vegan or vegan food. This is about me being pissed off. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Monday List!

It's been awhile since I've done one of these, and since oodles of things are making moi happy right now, I thought what better time than now to restart. Enjoy!

1. OLYMPICS - Three weeks ago I knew nothing about the 2010 Winter Olympics except that they were being held in Vancouver (I saw the stone thingy on my trip last September), and so I never expected to really watch them. Surprisingly, I enjoyed watching them (even the sports I didn't know!) and even cheered when Lindsey Vonn won her long-awaited gold medal.

But what really reeled me in was the women's figure skating. Oh, that Yu na Kim. I had NO idea who she was before these games, and now I'm completely in love. Her performances were captivating, and her scores? I mean... ridiculous. I cried with her after her incredible free skate performance Thursday night. She truly carried the weight of her entire country on her shoulders, and the Korean public is not a forgiving one. I don't even want to think of what would've happened had she not won... but anyway, I'm just so happy she did!!

2. EATS - I didn't eat out for a single meal this weekend! I can't even remember the last time that happened. Click here to see what I made, and if you're nice, maybe I'll give you a chocolate peanut butter cup. :)

3. OM - I went to yoga for the first time well over a month yesterday, and it. felt. SO. good. It also hurt. A lot. You see I tend to not ease myself back in when it comes to yoga, but rather jump head first into a fast-paced vinyasa class for levels 2 - 4 (i'm, like, a 1.5?) with a kickass teacher who, well, kicks your ass. Love it.

4. Productivity - I was absurdly productive this weekend, and I have no idea why. But it was nice. Between multiple trips to Central Market and Whole Foods and cooking, I also managed to clean my apartment (well... most of it) and do 4 loads of laundry. In the midst of my cleaning, I saw this and just had to snap a pic.

I know I don't talk about my kitty much, but Puffin (yes, that's his name!) has been with me longer than Lola, and he really is fantastic. I've been a neglectful mother, and I am trying to improve. He really is super sweet and SUPER smart and fast. This fool opens doors like none other...

P.S. Apartment tour is coming soon!

5. 21-Day Vegan Kickstart begins TODAY!!! Are you joining in on all the fun? ;-) Oh and speaking of vegan, I just want to thank all of you who have been so tremendously supportive, even those of you who don't agree with what I'm doing. And a special merci to City Girl, Lauren, and Kirsten for dealing with my questions, rants, and panic attacks. *MUAH*